Talking the Rules
Once everyone is off I ask her how she does it. Natasha laughs and says, "Well it is about making the rules very clear and trying to remember what it was like to be a kid. And, oh yes, doing this while driving with your back to them! Seriously though the school board has very clear protocols that help us to know exactly how to serve these young people."
Natasha says, "come over to the garage with me and we can check the bus in and then go for a coffee. I say "Yeah, let's go."
"Do you ever get tired of this job?" I ask.
once in a while it can be a bit trying. Quite a while ago I had a lot of problems with a youth who just couldn't stay in his seat and was always bugging the other kids. Finally, after we had several meetings with the school and the parents they had to take him off the bus. I was sorry, but what can you do? I
tried my best with him. I would clearly tell him the rules and he would promise to do better, but he just couldn't keep it together. What was great was the school and board backed me up and the parents didn't hold it against me. But really, I love this job. I love getting to know these kids and seeing them grow up. I am always meeting them on the street and stopping for a chat.
"Say, are you going to ride the afternoon shift?" Yes, I say, "I'll be back in time for that."
Bus operators have lots of interactions with customers. They sometimes have to explain the company rules, they need to give out information on bus connections, schedules and routes. They may have to field complaints from customers and they may be asked for special services.
Let's have another look at customer service. One of the key aspects of customer service is communication.
And that means an effective knowledge and use of relevant vocabulary.
While excellent communication skills are important for bus operators, they also have to know how to handle customer complaints and how to accommodate special requests.